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Pet Franchise Industry Report 2015

Pet Franchise Report 2015 Main Image

US Pet Industry Overview

The US pet industry is in a state of moderate growth as confidence in the economy returns to pre-recession levels and 68% of American households have a pet. In order of popularity, the most popular pets in the United States are fish, cats, dogs, birds, and reptiles.

Franchises in this industry must not only compete with each other but also with a myriad of independent businesses. The pet franchise industry has two segments: products and services. Pet franchise services include training, grooming, boarding and more. Pet product sales franchises include retail, mobile and home-based locations. There is considerable overlap within the industry and both independent and franchise pet businesses perform services and sell products to maximize revenue streams while safeguarding against fluctuations in the marketplace.

In 2014, the overall US pet industry brought in $58.04 billion in sales. That number is expected to grow to $60.59 billion in 2015. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), these are the estimated 2015 sales for each category of the pet industry:

Estimated Pet Industry 2015 Sales-1


What’s Fueling US Pet Industry Growth?

"The pet industry has grown by leaps and bounds...It's a fun place to be." 

~ Heidi Ganahl, founder of Camp Bow Wow (April 2015 Franchise Times)

Check out some demographic shifts that are contributing to a rise in pet ownership:

  • Consumers wait longer to marry, increasing single-person households while the need for in-house companionship remains
  • Baby boomer population with adult children bring pets into the home


According to, the strengthening human-pet bond has also “contributed to a new trend that is driving growth in the industry: the premium pet product shopper. According to a survey, 70% of pet owners are willing to spend extra to ensure the wellness of their pet. And, 30% of pet owners agreed that they prefer to shop at pet retailers that offer the best products available, even if it is more expensive.”

The #1 premium product that is purchased is pet food. According to the survey, it’s “something most pet owners will not give up, even in hard economic times.” Many of the trends in pet food reflect trends occurring with human food such as gluten-free, wheat-free, little sugar or reduced-calorie. Franchises like Husse, which specializes in premium pet food, are in a great position to take advantage of this trend.

Outside of pet food purchases, categories that grew the fastest in 2014, according to Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the APPA, include grooming, boarding, walking, training, day care and trips to specialized spas where pets receive facials, massages—and even painted nails. The continued development of pet industry internet retailing is also a growth vehicle for the industry.

When it comes to franchise businesses, slow and steady growth is the name of the game—reflecting the moderate growth state of the industry in general. The chart below reveals unit numbers of 7 pet franchises for the latest 2 full years, 2013 and 2014.




Net Change

Aussie Pet Mobile




Camp Bow Wow








Fetch! Pet Care




Pet Supplies Plus








Three Dog Bakery




Pet Franchise Total Unit Numbers for the Last 2 Years

Global Pet Services Market

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." 

~ Anatole France


There are few places on Earth where people pamper pets as much as in the United States. One place is the United Kingdom, the world’s second largest pet services market. An Initial Public Offering (IPO) by franchisor Pets at Home listed a number of factors already present in the US pet market that will most likely transfer to the UK market, including:

  • Premium pet food and more nutritional pet food options
  • Increased spending on non-pet food items such as accessories and clothing
  • Developed routines of pet services consumption such as grooming

Here is a look at a few other places where the pet services market is strong and growing.

Eastern Europe

Over 70 million European households have at least one pet. In addition, approximately 550,000 jobs (direct and indirect) are generated by pet ownership according to the FEDIAF. The European pet food industry alone accounts for revenue of over 24 billion euros each year.

Mature European pet services markets include France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy and, of course, the UK. The most popular pets in Europe are dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, fish, and reptiles.

Alongside this mature market, the pet industry in Eastern Europe is catching up in pace as a region to watch. 

A rise in urbanization and affluence—especially among younger residents—is leading to strong growth in Eastern Europe. According to research firm Euromonitor International, the region is expected to outperform the global pet market for a number of years ahead, with Russia as the pacesetter.

In line with this growth, pet franchisors will also be keeping a close eye on smaller Eastern European countries for expansion prospects. For instance, pet ownership rates in Romania and the Czech Republic are now among the highest in world, particularly for dog and cat ownership.


A burgeoning middle class has the Chinese pet industry blossoming to include services infused with Chinese culture like acupuncture, Chinese herbal remedies, fur dyes and perms to make puppies look like pandas, pretty manicures and dog yoga—also known as “doga.”

Currently, about 7% of Chinese households have a dog and 2% have a cat, but ownership rates are expected to rise rapidly. Euromonitor International estimates the Chinese pet care industry to be worth $2.2 billion (or 13.5 billion yuan) within the next 5 years.

Chinese pet owners are also starting to favor premium food recipes for their furry loved ones. In fact, companies such as Nestle, which owns the Purina brand of pet food, are introducing new offerings to China or moving production facilities there.

Global Pet Services Franchise Market

India and Others

Another pet market expected to grow exponentially is India. The Indian pet market is forecasted to grow between 10% and 15% annually in the coming years due in large part to a movement toward commercial pet food. Traditionally, Indian pet owners have been hesitant to feed their pets anything other than homemade food. In fact, restaurants that are dog-friendly where pooches can enjoy a gourmet meal along with their owners are popular in the country. Nonetheless, with more two-income families, the Indian pet food market segment is consistently growing. Other segments expected to contribute to the growth of the Indian pet market are:

  • Pet grooming
  • Pet spa services
  • Pet behaviorists
  • Yoga for dogs
  • Pet magazines

Other up-and-coming pet markets include Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Vietnam, and Latin American countries.

Investing in a Pet Franchise

Below is an overview of a limited number of topics to consider when buying a pet franchise, including a summary of costs.

Please note: the provisions and fees illustrated in this report are some of the most common and not a complete listing. All figures come from the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) of each respective franchise dated 2014, except for Camp Bow Wow, which is dated 2015. Please review the FDD of a franchise for all of the provisions and fees related to investing in that particular franchise.


Franchisees must investigate all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and are ultimately solely responsible for compliance with any applicable laws and regulations in any given area. It is highly advised that a prospective franchisee consult with an attorney, financial advisor, or both, before purchasing a franchise. Franchisees may need to obtain a zoning variance, or similar, to operate their franchise. Depending upon the area, franchisees may also need to obtain a special license or permit to offer in-home or dog training services.

Pet industry franchises are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations applicable to providing camp services, in-home services, dog training services and other authorized products and services, including: zoning and construction laws, public accommodations laws, kennel and pet sitting licensing laws, noise ordinances, bonding requirements, health and safety laws, hazardous waste and environmental laws, fire codes, smoking rules, employment and workers’ compensation laws, federal state and local tax laws, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and additional related laws and regulations.

Initial Investment
The amount necessary to open a franchise varies depending on the unique business system and execution requirements. The following charts demonstrate, by comparison, initial costs associated with opening one of the 10 sample franchises presented.


Initial Investment Range Estimates for Pet Franchises

Initial costs associated with opening a franchise include the franchise fee, land and building costs, training expenses (such as travel and living expenses, not the actual training courses), grand opening advertising and marketing costs, and more.

A fee specific to franchises is the franchise fee. The paying of this fee by an incoming franchisee typically includes permissions for the franchisee to use the franchisor’s patents and trademarks. It can also cover a portion of the costs for initial support functions such as training and possible site selection assistance.

In some instances, the franchise fee can vary with a franchise system depending upon the size of the territory the franchisee desires, whether the franchise is a qualifying military veteran, and other factors. The franchise fee for the sample franchises are noted below.


Franchise Fee

Aussie Pet Mobile


Camp Bow Wow

$45,000 - $50,000


$38,250 - $42,500

Fetch! Pet Care


Pet Depot

$35,000 - $40,000

Pet Supplies Plus




Sit Means Sit


Three Dog Bakery

$15,000 - $25,000

Wag N' Wash


Franchise Fees for Sample Pet Franchises

Ongoing Fees
Throughout the length of the agreement there are costs for being a part of the franchisor’s business system.

These costs include items such as royalty fees, charges for technical support, and continued marketing costs. The most common is the royalty fee. Examples of how royalties are collected are provided below for each sample franchise. Royalty fees are assessed for the continued use of the franchisor’s trademarks and patented processes.



Aussie Pet Mobile

Gross Volume, multiplied by the applicable royalty rate (varies from 4% to 8%);  the current Monthly Minimum Payment is $612

Camp Bow Wow

7% of Gross Revenues or the Minimum Monthly Royalty


7% of Gross Sales

Fetch! Pet Care

6% of monthly Gross Sales or a minimum royalty payment, whichever is greater

Pet Depot

2% or 5% of Gross Sales (depending on franchise type)

Pet Supplies Plus

$3,000.00 per month plus 2.25% of monthly Gross Sales over $83,333.33


4.5% of total Gross Revenues

Sit Means Sit

$600 per month

Three Dog Bakery

5.5% of Royalty Sales of the Bakery

Wag N' Wash

5% of Gross Revenues per month

Royalties for Sample Pet Franchises

In addition to regularly assessed fees, other fees are charged on an “as needed” basis such as audit fees, or costs for additional, non-mandatory, training. Prior to investing, prospective franchisees should do their research and carefully review a franchisor’s FDD for more detailed information on all systems, procedures and costs.

For more information on a number of pet franchises, please see our pet franchise industry page.

Pet Grooming Franchises...

Wag'n Tails Mobile Pet Grooming Wag’n Tails is launching 12-15 independent mobile grooming business owners every month! Be one of them! Read More Min. Cash Required:

Wag N’ Wash Unleash your future by becoming Wag N’ Wash’s next franchise owner - an opPAWtunity not to be missed! Read More Min. Cash Required:

All American Pet Resorts, LLC Own a business you love and join the recession resistant pet boarding industry! Read More Min. Cash Required:

Aussie Pet Mobile Join the world's #1 pet service franchise. Work from home. Cash-based, recession-resistant. Read More Min. Cash Required:

EarthWise Pet Supply Learn about the EarthWise Pet difference. It starts with our unique pet store atmosphere and feel! Read More Min. Cash Required:

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